WhatsApp blocked again in China, this time for good?

Censorship has prompted many in mainland China to switch to communications methods that function smoothly and quickly

WhatsApp blocked again in China, this time for good?

The disabling in mainland China of the Facebook-owned app is a setback for the social media giant, whose chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, has been pushing to re-enter the Chinese market, and has been studying the Chinese language intensively. In recent months, the social network belonging to Facebook was presenting brief interruptions in the service, preventing users from sending text or multimedia messages.

The popular app - more than a billion people use WhatsApp, at least until the China ban - opens up an encrypted communication channel between two people.

China has blocked access to WhatsApp messaging throughout its territory, security experts confirmed to The New York Times. A few months ago, began blocking the use of VPN throughout the country, with the intention that no one could evade the firewall. And on Monday the entire app apparently went down - texts couldn't even go through.

China started blocking the service Wednesday but fully blocked it Monday, according to researcher Nadim Kobeissi‏ of Symbolic Software, which monitors such services' availability.

"This is not the typical technical method in which the Chinese government censors something", Kobeissi said.

Facebook declined to comment, following past practice when asked about WhatsApp's difficulties in China.

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